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The Netherlands Twin Register Biobank: A Resource for Genetic Epidemiological Studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Gonneke Willemsen*
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ahm.willemsen@psy.vu.nl
Eco J. C. de Geus
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Meike Bartels
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
C. E. M. Toos van Beijsterveldt
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Andy I. Brooks
Affiliation:
Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository, Rutgers University, Department of Genetics, Piscataway, New Jersey, United States of America.
G. Frederique Estourgie-van Burk
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Douglas A. Fugman
Affiliation:
Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository, Rutgers University, Department of Genetics, Piscataway, New Jersey, United States of America.
Chantal Hoekstra
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Jouke-Jan Hottenga
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Kees Kluft
Affiliation:
Gaubius Laboratory, TNO-Quality of Life, Biomedical Research, Leiden, Netherlands; Good Biomarker Sciences, Leiden, Netherlands.
Piet Meijer
Affiliation:
Gaubius Laboratory, TNO-Quality of Life, Biomedical Research, Leiden, Netherlands; Good Biomarker Sciences, Leiden, Netherlands.
Grant W. Montgomery
Affiliation:
Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, Australia.
Patrizia Rizzu
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Genetics, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
David Sondervan
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Genetics, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
August B. Smit
Affiliation:
Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Sabine Spijker
Affiliation:
Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
H. Eka D. Suchiman
Affiliation:
Department of Medical Statistics and Bioinformatics, Leiden University Medical Centre, Netherlands.
Jay A. Tischfield
Affiliation:
Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository, Rutgers University, Department of Genetics, Piscataway, New Jersey, United States of America.
Thomas Lehner
Affiliation:
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, United States of America.
P. Eline Slagboom
Affiliation:
Department of Medical Statistics and Bioinformatics, Leiden University Medical Centre, Netherlands.
Dorret I. Boomsma
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
*
*Address for correspondence: Gonneke Willemsen, Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 1, The Netherlands.

Abstract

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In 2004 the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) started a large scale biological sample collection in twin families to create a resource for genetic studies on health, lifestyle and personality. Between January 2004 and July 2008, adult participants from NTR research projects were invited into the study. During a home visit between 7:00 and 10:00 am, fasting blood and morning urine samples were collected. Fertile women were bled on day 2–4 of the menstrual cycle, or in their pill-free week. Biological samples were collected for DNA isolation, gene expression studies, creation of cell lines and for biomarker assessment. At the time of blood sampling, additional phenotypic information concerning health, medication use, body composition and smoking was collected. Of the participants contacted, 69% participated. Blood and urine samples were collected in 9,530 participants (63% female, average age 44.4 (SD 15.5) years) from 3,477 families. Lipid profile, glucose, insulin, HbA1c, haematology, CRP, fibrinogen, liver enzymes and creatinine have been assessed. Longitudinal survey data on health, personality and lifestyle are currently available for 90% of all participants. Genome-wide SNP data are available for 3,524 participants, with additional genotyping ongoing. The NTR biobank, combined with the extensive phenotypic information available within the NTR, provides a valuable resource for the study of genetic determinants of individual differences in mental and physical health. It offers opportunities for DNA-based and gene expression studies as well as for future metabolomic and proteomic projects.

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Articles
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010